Sunken British ships are focus of Newport archaeology project
The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) is engaged in a multi-year search to locate and identify 13 British transport ships that sunk in Newport Harbor in 1778. The British navy scuttled the ships in an effort to blockade the French fleet that was threatening the city. The current RIMAP search is particularly focused on a transport called the Lord Sandwich, which was one of the 13 scuttled ships. The reason for this focus is that the Lord Sandwich was formerly known as the Endeavour, the bark that explorer Captain James Cook sailed on his first circumnavigation of the globe.
Rare collection of Revolutionary War-era newspapers sells for $345,000
A rare collection of annotated Massachusetts newspapers from the Revolutionary War era is going home. The collection, one of four such volumes, was sold at the James D. Julia Auction House for $345,000. The winning bidder was the Massachusetts Historical Society.
Documentary film about Jewish Revolutionary war hero Haym Salomon
Haym Salomon was a Jewish war hero, yet many people have never heard of him. Hoping to call attention to his contribution to the American Revolution - he funded the Continental Army, gave loans (most of them never paid back) to the likes of Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, and raised money in the aftermath of the war to help bring America out of debt - producer Randy Bellous and screenwriter William Sachs have teamed up with Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America to create a documentary film about the Jewish patriot.
American Crisis: George Washington and the Dangerous Two Years After Yorktown, 1781-1783 (Book review)
Thomas Paine wrote a famous series of essays - begun as he marched through New Jersey during the Continental Army's retreat in 1776 - often referred to as the American Crisis. William M. Fowler Jr.`s new book echoes Paine's words to remind us that the American crisis did not end with the victory at Yorktown in 1781. In fact, the two years that followed were filled with diplomatic, political and financial crises. It is commonly accepted that the Revolution ended when Lord Cornwallis' trapped army laid down its arms in Yorktown. But Fowler shows there was nothing inevitable about American independence or stability after Cornwallis surrendered.
Revolutionary War-era map of Connecticut sells for $168,000
A Revolutionary War-era map of "Connecticut and parts adjacent" by Dutch-born Bernard Romans sold for $168,000 at Swann Galleries in New York City on June 2.
Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World by Maya Jasanoff (book review)
If you browse through books about the American Revolutionary War, you cannot help but notice how one-sided the topics they cover are. There may be a few books about the British side, but most of these focus on the military affairs. Fortunately for us history buffs, "Liberty's Exiles" fills one the gaps in the American history.
When the British navy evacuated American cities in 1783 after their defeat in the War of Independence, 75,000 would-be-Americans left with them. These were the loyalists who had supported the English king George III in what had been as much a civil war as a national liberation struggle. Although 25% of all colonists had decided to stay loyal to the king in 1776, after 7 years of warfare only 3% of them went into lifelong exile rather than remain in the American republic.
George Washington's First War: His Early Military Adventures by David A. Clary (book review)
It is great to read a biography which is not afraid to explore all sides - even the unfavorable ones - of an idolized hero. "George Washington's First War" reveals both a fashion dandy who enjoyed designing his own military uniforms and a commander who kept his troops in line with brutal methods.
Young George Washington was a strict commander who didn't shy away from ordering his soldiers to be severely beaten for drunkenness, disobedience, and even profanity - the last being an overreaction because the swearing was often a reaction to a lack of food, clothing, weapons, and pay. When things didn't go his way, Washington was capable of griping, whining, and finger-pointing -- and he was not afraid of telling a lie when it suited his purposes.
Rare 1784 map, showing the borders of the new American nation, loaned it to Library of Congress
The first map printed in North America, showing the borders of the new American nation and featuring the "Stars and Stripes" for the first time, will be displayed at the Library of Congress in the spring of 2011. The map by surveyor and counterfeiter Abel Buell - published 6 months after the Treaty of Paris (Sept. 3, 1783) ended the Revolutionary War - is entitled, "A New and Correct Map of the United States of North America Layd Down from the Latest Observations and Best Authorities Agreeable to the Peace of 1783." It is the first map of the new U.S. created by an American and the first map to be copyrighted in the U.S.
Emancipation Proclamation - once owned by RFK - fetched $3.7M at a Sotheby auction
A copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln - and once owned by Robert F. Kennedy - fetched $3.7 million, an auction record for a U.S. presidential document. The printed copy of the 1863 document - declaring all slaves "forever free" - is one of 48 printed copies signed by Lincoln. Half are known to survive: 14 are in public institutions, and 8-10 are privately owned.
With Musket and Tomahawk: The Saratoga Campaign and the Wilderness War of 1777 by Michael O. Logusz
"With Musket and Tomahawk" -- a well-researched 418-page book -- explores the Battle of Saratoga, which decided the fate of British General John Burgoyne's army in the American Revolutionary War. The British plan, foreseen by George Washington two years before Lexington and Concord, was to separate New England from the rest of the colonies, and seize the patriot food bases.
Utah divers bring up revolutionary war ship Le Scipion off the coast of Dominican Republic
Underwater recovery company Deep Blue Marine is currently exploring the wreck of Le Scipion, located near the Dominican Republic, and so far their divers have salvaged Revolutionary War musketballs, coins, buttons, and an intact vinaigrette.
First Family: Abigail & John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis (book review)
In "First Family" historian Joseph Ellis - author behind several great books about the Founding Fathers - explores one of America's greatest partnerships, based on the 1,200 preserved letters between Abigail and John Adams.